Mecom Netherlands cuts jobs [update]

European newspaper conglomerate Mecom is cutting cost in the Dutch operation by sacking 80 people at the two regional newspapers in the Southern province of Limburg. Also the company is planning to sell the free weeklies in the Netherlands, one of the most profitable parts of the Wegener company Mecom acquired in 2007. (Volkskrant) [update: the sale concerns not all free weeklies but free weekly De Trompetter (circulation more than one million) distributed in the Southern provinces of Limburg and Noord-Brabant.]

Mecom als owns newspapers in Eastern Europe, Germany, Norway and Denmark. In Denmark it also owns free newspapers Urban which is integrating its operations with paid paper Berlingske, also to save money. Mecom CEO David Montgomery earlier launched a free home delivered paper in Denmark, Dato, but closed the paper after half a year. Apart from launching (and closing) Dato, Montgomery’s main job is cutting costs in all operations.

In the beginning of January the share price of Mecom dropped dramaticly by almost 50 per cent. The company said that earning would be ‘within expectations’ but later revealed details that it had higher costs than expected and wanted to divest some Dutch operations. In total Mecom’s share dropped to a third of their value within a year. (FT)

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